Blue Jays roll past slumping Tigers

Daulton Varsho hit a go-ahead, two-run homer, Kevin Gausman struck out a season-high 10 batters and the visiting Toronto Blue Jays defeated the slumping Detroit Tigers 9-1 on Thursday night.

Gausman (3-3) gave up one run on three hits and two walks in six innings. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a two-run homer and Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a solo shot. Bo Bichette added three hits, a run scored and an RBI in the opener of a four-game series.

Detroit’s Jack Flaherty (1-4) gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out nine. Wenceel Perez knocked in the run for the Tigers, who have lost five straight.

Kiner-Falefa staked the Blue Jays to a lead in the third when he blasted a 2-0 offering from Flaherty over the left-field wall for his third homer of the year.

Flaherty got out of a jam in the fourth with the help of a baserunning blunder. Danny Jansen and Bichette singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Flaherty then picked off Bichette and retired Daniel Vogelbach on a groundout.

Gausman kept the strikeout parade going in the bottom of the inning by fanning two more batters. Kiner-Falefa had a two-out triple in the fifth but Flaherty responded by striking out Kevin Kiermaier.

Detroit’s first hit came on Javier Baez’s leadoff single in the sixth inning. Carson Kelly followed with another single. A strikeout and groundout put runners in scoring position with two outs. Perez then singled to center to tie the score but Kelly was thrown out at the plate by Kiermaier.

The tie was soon broken. Vogelbach banged a single off the wall in the seventh. One out later, Varsho hit a Flaherty slider over the right-center-field wall for his ninth homer of the year.

Toronto extended the lead to 6-1 in the eighth against Alex Faedo. Jansen drew a one-out walk and moved to third on Guerrero’s double. Bichette singled to score Jansen. Justin Turner followed with another RBI single and George Springer added a sacrifice fly.

The Blue Jays tacked on three more runs in the ninth on Jansen’s RBI double and Guerrero’s fifth homer of the year.

–Field Level Media